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Marketing & Media Trends

#BizTrends2018: You guessed it, it's the year of video

Cisco released a report in late 2017 which, if its predictions are to be believed, adds fuel to marketers angling for increased budget for video creation.
Gil Sperling, CTO of Popimedia.
Gil Sperling, CTO of Popimedia.

Every second, the report states, a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2021. Put differently, an individual would need to invest more than five million years to watch the video crossing global IP networks in a single month in 2021. And, consumer video-on-demand (VoD) traffic will nearly double by 2021. The amount of VoD traffic in 2021 will be equivalent to 7.2 billion DVDs per month.

Additionally, video consumption will be mobile –

Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will account for more than 63% of total IP traffic by 2021.
Facebook in 2018 is going to be an interesting place
Firstly, Facebook is introducing in-stream video advertising placement.

However, Facebook has made it clear that only publishers and creators who meet strict requirements are eligible to place ad breaks in their video content – this in an attempt to not alienate Facebook’s most valuable resource – its captive audience.

Facebook has announced that this mode of advertising will be highly targeted, with “viewers of the same video on Facebook and Audience Network seeing different ads, depending on their interests”.

It’s important for marketers to remember that in 2016, 100 million hours of video were watched on Facebook every day.

Facebook Watch

And now, Facebook Watch has been introduced in the US. This is a “new platform for shows,” a library where video content is available. And, Facebook Watch has the added advantage of community participation – Watch is personalised to help you discover new shows, organised around what your friends and communities are watching. As Daniel Danker, Facebook’s director of product, says:

We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself.
In essence, Facebook is going up against the VoD giants Netflix and Showmax, but with a far larger captive audience at its disposal. The company announced an initial investment amount of $1bn for the creation of original content – which doesn’t quite challenge the front-runners, but given its in-stream advertising model, and its audience, we’re likely looking at a worthy contender.

As a point of reference, Investopedia lists Netflix’s 2017 investment at $6bn, Amazon Studios at $4.5bn, ABC at $4bn, and HBO at $2.5bn.

With a model that sits somewhere on the scale between Netflix and YouTube, this is certainly a space to watch.

How will you be relevant?

As marketers, we need to fit into our audience’s day. As such, the content we create must take cognisance of whether our audience is in an “on-the-go”, a “lean forward”, or a “lean back” mode of attention.

To capture them, you must create for the kind of attention they are able to offer you.

When “on-the-go”, you have three seconds to grab attention. Your viewers are in a queue, or between meetings. With “lean forward”, you may have a bit more time – think carousel advertising – we have just enough time to get involved, but not quite enough to relax into an experience. Which brings us to “lean back” – and the focus of Facebook Watch.

Brands must seek to attract attention in all three modes, and must develop great content, which will win attention plus the battle of the auction. And, given that we know that there is a 70% view-through rate of in-stream ads, this is where a great deal of focus should be placed.

With “Watch Parties” allowing for collaboration and commenting, the emergence of a massive influencer and brand building opportunity is secured.

Science vs creativity

There is no substitute for great content.

Yet, the delivery of that content to the right audience depends heavily on clever rules and algorithms and the automation of audiences. The current trend is deep automation, which allows for deep strategy. This is where Facebook marketing partners enter business, gain an understanding of that business’s audience and objectives, and bring the correct message to Facebook, quickly and cleverly.

Instagram is another of Facebook’s platforms that is very strong in stories, allowing brands to mimic experiences – for example, retailers could be focusing on mimicking the boutique experience, through Collection Ads.

Brands should strongly consider taking consumers on a journey – through the entire consideration cycle. It gives brands power and control, and allows them to build a longer, stronger relationship.

And, as video becomes the de facto engagement too, it’s critical for marketers to build beautiful content.

Mother is concerned

We’ve heard it all a thousand times – that this is all contributing to the “dummification” of society. That’s simply not true. This is just something new. A new delivery mechanism and a new form of content consumption. It provides opportunities for partners to create things like dynamic video. And, of course, you can fight it, but you won’t stop it.

Personally, I find the ongoing developments exciting and inspiring. Opportunity is boundless, and as marketers, we would do well to embrace it, and get ahead of the curve in this latest new frontier.

About Gil Sperling

Gil Sperling is cofounder and co-CEO of Flow, a proptech company that goes straight to the source of the largest social platforms in the world - to match people with property.

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